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Karl SimsPrimordial Dance (1991)

something has gone horribly wrong 8-p
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This short computer animation is an experimental progression of abstract textures and colors created using an interactive process of "artificial evolution." The artist and computer collaborate to produce images and movements that neither could easily produce alone. The computer generates and displays a collection of experimental abstract images. The artist chooses the most aesthetically interesting images, and those survive and are "bred" to produce a new collection of images. The equations, or artificial genes, of the survivors are copied, mutated, and mated by the computer to generate new offspring pictures. This process of variation and selection is repeated, and with each cycle more complex and interesting results can occur. Finally, movements are created by performing "genetic interpolations" between these evolved images. The final animation you see here contains a series of these interpolations applied to various sets of evolved images.

This movie is part of the collection: SIGGRAPH

Director: Karl Sims
Audio/Visual: sound, color
Keywords: animation, computer graphics; evolution; breeding; image processing
Contact Information: For further technical information see: For information on other works by Karl Sims visit:

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Movie Files Flash Video Animated GIF MPEG2 MPEG1 Ogg Video 512Kb MPEG4 Thumbnail
Primordial Dance 36.5 KB 
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470.0 KB 
44.0 KB 
28.1 KB 
27.6 KB 
Primordial Dance 278.9 KB 
89.3 MB 
6.3 MB 
6.6 MB 
1.9 KB 
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sims_primordial_dance_1991.mpeg.md5 Checksums 188.0 B 
sims_primordial_dance_1991_files.xml Metadata [file] 
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sims_primordial_dance_1991_reviews.xml Metadata 1.8 KB 
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Downloaded 37,108 times
Average Rating: 3.20 out of 5 stars3.20 out of 5 stars3.20 out of 5 stars

Reviewer: justywusty87 - 3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars - June 10, 2010
Subject: ok
Nice animation.

Evolution is fake as science will soon find out.

But still, nice animation and colors/effects.
Reviewer: EnglishCaddy - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - August 25, 2008
Subject: psychedelic
Very artistic, and a good organic representation of evolution. I could imagine staring at this in an art museum.
Reviewer: Spuzz - 3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars - June 6, 2008
Subject: It's alive!!!
Pretty good, very organic animation. Short, but good.
Reviewer: Telephone Toughguy - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - July 12, 2007
Subject: This is a neat looking video
Ignore the less evolved superstitious folks.
Reviewer: Claeyborn - 1.00 out of 5 stars - May 30, 2007
Subject: ID
Nice example of intelligent design.
One star for trying to push it off as an example of evolution.


Software and Animation by Karl Sims
Music by David Grimes, Target Productions
Drums by Jim Salem, Abbi Spinner, Ken Schachat, and Seth Goldstein
Thanks to Peter Schroeder, Lew Tucker, Gary Oberbrunner, Matt Fitzgibbon, and Dave Sheppard
This piece was rendered on a Connection Machine CM-2 computer.

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